Danishes, Danish cookies, Danish people, and pink cupcakes were on the agenda for our latest party school, Number the Stars Book Club.
Danishes, Danish cookies, Danish people, and pink cupcakes were on the agenda for our latest party school, Number the Stars Book Club.#la4k #ihsnet #onlinebookclub #numberthestars #homeschool
Number the Stars Book Club Discussion
This book is the story of a young Danish girl and her Jewish best friend during the Holocaust. It is the beautiful, fictional story of the actual rescue of the Jewish people in Denmark. It is a tale of friendship, but more importantly, of being brave and choosing what is right no matter the odds.
I was a bit apprehensive when we chose this book. I was afraid the discussion would be too disturbing for the girls. What I discovered is that this was the perfect book to introduce the subject of the Holocaust to a group of preteen girls. It is a gentle immersion with a story that focuses more on hope and love than the horrible atrocities of World War II.
Does it still address the ugliness of war? Yes, but because the setting is Denmark (and not, say, Poland) the subject matter is less morose. But, fair warning, characters in the book do die at the hands of the Nazis. And, it was a good jumping off point to discuss the plight of the Jews and those who swore to protect them during the war.
The girls really enjoyed the book and were duly impressed by the bravery of the Danes. And, because the moms in the book shared tea each day, we shared our thoughts over tea and snacks.
Number the Stars Book Club Snacks
As I was reading the book, I noted many of the foods mentioned. European meals, especially in the 1930's, are very different from American ones. Since we had chosen a tea party theme, I used foods that were mentioned in the books like:
My husband got a little carried away at the store and bought Danishes because, well, they were called Danishes. So, even though there is no reference to them in the book, we had something sweet that Annemarie would have enjoyed.
We also had yellow cupcakes with pink frosting. In the book, Annemarie wistfully remembers when there was not a ration on foods, particularly sugar, and she was able to eat a yellow cupcake with pink frosting. So the girls whipped up some cupcakes for the festivities.
Number the Stars Book Club Activities
After our snacks and discussion, we met in the living room for a movie. I don't always show videos, usually because movies don't live up to the books, but this case was different. Number the Stars hasn't been made into a film. However, there are a few movies that tell a parallel story about the Danish rescue of the Jews. The one we chose was Miracle at Midnight. I highly recommend this movie. It told the story beautifully and was entirely appropriate for the preteen crowd.
Number the Stars Book Club Resources
There are MANY resources I researched before this book club, but many delved into aspects of the Holocaust and World War II that I didn't want to get into at the time. This wasn't because I don't believe that these subjects need to be addressed to our children, but that I wanted to keep this beautiful story of good winning over evil prominent during this book club. I wanted the girls to see that there was hope even when the situation looked bleak and that we are ALL responsible for our actions (even when we are scared and being bullied.
Number the Stars Online Book Club
The best of these resources I compiled into our online book club for Number the Stars. You can see a preview of it below.
Hebrew for Homeschoolers Course
Another resource I recommend, is They Call Me Blessed's Hebrew for Homeschoolers Course. In only 10 weeks you and your children will be able to read, write and speak Hebrew for beginners and have basic conversations.
Here is what Hebrew for Homeschoolers 10-Week Beginners Level 1 will teach you:
- The Alef-Bet (Hebrew alphabet)
- Basic vocabulary
- Hebrew songs
Whichever resources you decide to choose (or not to choose), don't miss out on this book. It is perfect for middle schoolers and has won rave reviews from our book club. Shalom!